Most of our readers will be aware that for the past four months, Angela Fag-Ash Disney has had a GoFundMe page, in which she begs for people to support her in her dream of becoming a journalist. (Dream on, say we.)
Apparently Angie thinks a cool million euros will do the trick. Until yesterday, she’d acquired a grand total of €33 from four overly generous donors; but yesterday a very, very kind benefactor popped €10,000 into the pot!
Wow! Now that looks much more like it, don’t you think?
It would be very impressive, if it were true.
The sad reality is that Angie is simply resorting to one of the oldest tricks in the scammer’s book: salting the collection plate. This trick is commonly employed by pianists, bartenders, waiters, even the homeless begging on the street: when people see that others have already contributed to the pot, they assume this is the appropriate and acceptable thing to do.
Angie is relying on the concept of social validation to convince visitors to her GoFundMe page that they should, well, fund her. People are much more likely to donate larger sums when they think that’s what everyone else is doing…and Angie would desperately like to convince people that it is.
But where did she get the money?
Wasn’t Angie complaining just a short while ago that she was broke? How could she possibly donate such a large figure to her own GoFundMe page?
Well, just the other day, in one of her Skype chats with Q*Bert, she mentioned having come into a largish sum from her deceased sister’s estate: the figure she mentioned was £20,000.
And then, surprise, surprise! Suddenly a €10,000 donation pops up in the page the Hoaxtead pushers set up to bring Q*Bert to London (more on this to come…).
And within hours, Angie’s own page was suddenly looking a lot more flush.
But couldn’t she do better by investing the €10,000?
Of course she could. And according to GoFundMe’s own rules, they’ll automatically take a small percentage of the money she earns as a fee for their service. So really, it’s a foolish financial move. But no one has ever accused Angela of being the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Unless…she’s betting that using that over-inflated donation number will encourage enough dupes…er, donors to give generously, that she’ll make it up in the volume. It’s a risk, of course; what if people see through her ruse and elect not to give at all?
But that’s not likely to happen. Angie’s friends have shown in the past that they can be relied on to cough up the cash when asked. After all, she was able to scrounge up enough money to send her son for his eye surgery while she used the remainder for a jaunt to Lanzarote last September.
Is it legal to trick people into donating more?
We don’t know how GoFundMe views this sort of behaviour. That’s why one of our team has already written to them to ask whether self-donation is allowed by their terms of service.
And in the same spirit, JW, one of our regular commentators, writes the following:
It’s nice to be helpful to people, so (in view of Angie’s seemingly poor skills in keeping financial records) I have emailed the Revenue in Ireland with a copy of the screenshot of her gofundme project in order to help Angie be law abiding and pay tax on her income from her self-funding venture.
No need to thank me Angie, I am certain a number of other people would have done exactly the same for you – Oh, I forgot, she does not look at this site….
That’s Hoaxtead Research for you—we’re just full to the brim with the milk of human kindness.